Travelers Marketing —OOH Owner Today
service plaza advertising, toll plaza messaging, a truck parking
OOH Owner Today —Travelers Marketing
by Benny Taubman, OOH TODAY Reporter
Travelers Marketing uses OOH and government partnerships to advertise within transportation networks. Additionally, the company participates in efforts to promote public safety. Since its founding in 1998, Travelers has worked with over 230 brands, ranging all the way from large, Fortune 100 companies to small, family-owned businesses. The owner currently has contracts with DOTs, DMVs, and toll road authorities in 35 states. Altogether, Travelers estimates that its advertising programs reach over 72 billion traveling Americans each year.
Travelers’ marketing services include creation, evaluation, collaboration, and administration. This means that the owner forges public partnerships to gain access to assets, creates advertisements utilizing those public assets, manages the assets, and evaluates the performance of those assets. Travelers’ portfolio includes service plaza advertising, toll plaza messaging, a truck parking availability system sponsorship, and more. Over the years, Travelers’ USDOT and Roadway Safety Foundation award-winning programs have generated over $120 million for its public sector partners.
Brian Lee, Managing Partner at Travelers, participated in an exclusive OOH Today interview:
Q: Why should advertisers choose Travelers Marketing?
A: “Advertisers should choose to work with Travelers Marketing because we provide highly visible, non-traditional ways for brands to stand out amongst the clutter of traditional OOH. Our signage offerings are positioned much closer to the highway than a typical billboard and are often displayed in regions where other OOH options are scarce or even non-existent. Advertisers can take advantage of placements on state-owned assets, such as toll plazas and toll buildings, official blue highway signs, service plazas, and more.
For brands looking to go beyond advertising and make an authentic, contextually-relevant connection with the traveling public, we also offer one-of-a-kind, exclusive sponsorship opportunities. Through these programs, sponsors are able to connect with motorists in a meaningful way while improving highway safety, saving lives, and supporting the communities in which they live and do business. Plus, our sponsorships generate significant press and social attention and align brands with the state government and public policy objectives.”
Q: What is the company’s process for matching public sector assets with corporate marketing goals?
A: “Travelers Marketing is the only marketing agency in the country to successfully and repeatedly forge advertising and sponsorship programs that leverage department of transportations’ (DOT) and turnpike authorities’ assets to better position brands to reach and connect with the traveling public. Whether your marketing goals are to build brand awareness, consideration, affinity, or to drive sales, we have marketing options for you.
The added bonus is through our partnerships with state DOTs and turnpike authorities, our advertising and sponsor clients’ marketing dollars are re-invested into the state in which the brand lives and does business. It’s a win-win.
For our business model to be successful, it’s essential that the end results are mutually beneficial for our state partners and our advertisers and sponsors. When developing new marketing programs, we consider which state assets will provide our brand partners with a high-value, meaningful platform to reach their target audience on a large scale. We consider program reach, impressions, engagement opportunities, messaging alignment, activations, and more. We must generate value for the public and private sectors while remaining fully compliant with a myriad of guiding federal and state rules and regulations.
It’s a niche business, but one we have been doing for 25 years now. We have learned many efficiencies and we know our best bet when matching public sector assets with corporate marketing goals is open discussion and communication around our partners’ and our client’s missions and goals. Collaboration leads us to successful marketing programs that meet all parties’ objectives and benefit the roadway user, the consumer.”
Q: What is the company’s key to success in the OOH business?
A: “Building effective, efficient partnerships is our north star. Relationship building, innovation, and collaboration remain at the core of everything we do. We believe it’s absolutely essential to listen to our clients, never shy away from asking smart, tough questions, and constantly monitor and learn from what the market is telling us. Everyone on our team, from leadership to our interns, believes the next great idea can come from anyone and anywhere. We place a huge emphasis on the power of collaboration and encourage everyone in our organization to have a voice and contribute.”
Q: Generally, what ROI does this form of “marketing partnership” bring in for brands?
A: “Our marketing partnerships have been proven to drive sales, provide brand lift, improve consideration and affinity, and enhance consumer opinion. We have partnerships that outperform NBA and NFL sponsorships in key performance metrics tracked by the top brand marketers in the nation. Our programs check the boxes to meet our clients’ marketing ROI.
In addition, with our programs, brands can confidently promote that they are doing well while doing good. Their marketing dollars are being reinvested to improve highway safety and support roadway operations on the state level. With private-sector support, we’ve are generating millions of dollars in non-tax, non-toll revenue each year to improve our nation’s highways.”
Q: What are some future goals for the business?
A: “As the OOH landscape and highway systems evolve, we continue to explore and invest in new, results-driven offerings that meet and exceed customer demands and expectations. We recognize that our OOH assets offer direct access to millions of drivers, and with this, we feel a moral responsibility to the traveling public, our public-sector partners, and our private-sector clients to use our highly visible platforms for good. This means continuing to create meaningful marketing programs that serve the best interests of our brand and state partners’ revenue generation goals, but also protecting and enhancing the lives of the third silent partner making our industry possible: the traveling public–drivers and passengers. We are dedicated to having a positive influence on their driving experience by implementing programs that improve highway traffic safety and help reach the roadway safety community’s vision of zero roadway fatalities.”
Q: Share a fun fact about your company!
A: “Travelers Marketing got its start placing coupons on the back of toll receipts for the Massachusetts Turnpike, with the first coupon being for a free cup of chowder at Legal Sea Foods! Of course, toll receipts are now obsolete, and we’ve evolved our product offerings to meet the latest demands of the market. Our humble beginnings serve as a good reminder of how we must continue to innovate, listen to the marketplace, and anticipate our clients’ needs.”